Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Xbox Live Class Action Being Investigated

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the modders-unite dept.

The Courts 453

eldavojohn writes "Were you negatively affected by the recent ban on Xbox Live for modifying hardware you own? Did you modify yours for homebrew or altering things you paid for and not to engage in piracy? Abington IP would like to hear from you and may be able to help. From that page: 'If you are an Xbox Live subscriber, had your modified Xbox console banned from Xbox Live, were not refunded a prorated sum for the time left on your subscription, or have experienced other problems as a result of being banned, and would like to participate in a class action against Microsoft, please submit your information below.' Someone is finally standing up for the legitimate hobbyists. Should Microsoft worry?"

cancel ×

453 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

lol @ 'finally standing up' (5, Insightful)

mnslinky (1105103) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173826)

These class-action lawsuits only serve one purpose - to make the lawfirm originating the class action a boatload of cash.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173900)

Yep those that where banned may get $5 if that. The law firm will get a private jet and maybe an island out of it.
Please folks the rules are you can not get on live if you mode your box. You still have your XBox you just can not play it on line anymore.
I hope this gets tossed out so fast your head spins.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (3, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174126)

and $5 more in my pocket for shooting off an email or signing a paper is fine by me, even if someone else thinks maybe I'm entitled to $50.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (4, Insightful)

GaratNW (978516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174604)

$5 in my pocket from supporting a spurious, ludicrous lawsuit is $5 I wouldn't take. I hope the originators of the lawsuit get slapped with all the defendant's legal fees on top of their own. "We broke the terms of service but.. waaaaahhhhh.. pay us anyway!". And ultimately parent is right. This is nothing about "protecting the rights of legitimate modders", and entirely about lining the pockets of the law firm with other people's money.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174152)

I don't care if they get to buy Fantasy Island out of the settlement money, if a law firm is able, via class action or any other means, to make it illegal for a company to screw with my console and remove functionality from it simply because it was modded (i.e. not because I was cheating, pirating, or because my mod 'broke it') then I say full steam ahead and find someone to yell "Ze Plane! Ze Plane!" cause it's worth it to prove that what I buy is MINE.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174280)

...and it's still *yours.*

How are they supposed to know if you modded it for some other non-cheating reason?

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174286)

They didn't take any functionality from your XBox at all. They booted you off THEIR NETWORK.
When you first got on the network the agreement was that if you mod your XBox your booted off.
You AGREED TO THAT and now it has happened.
It is COMPLETELY legal and frankly fair.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (4, Insightful)

bryansj (89051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174448)

So disabling Media Center Exender and hard drive game install functionality as well as the ability to transfer game saves from a banned 360 to an unbanned one didn't take anything away? * A recently banned 360 now has its data appear corrupt to non-banned units so you have now lost all game saves and any gamerscore earned since the ban. You also cannot install games to the hard drive or play previously installed games. You can still stream to the 360, but the Media Center Extender is now disabled.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (2, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174508)

The data on the HDD is now tainted, as a lot of what modders do is around cheating achivements by trading hacked save games, this seems reasonable to me.

And gamerscore has nothing to do with the data on the drive - I could wipe out all my saves tonight and I'd still have all my earned achievements and gamerscore - they're stored on the XBL servers.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (3, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174534)

I'd wager that those functions have "*requires an active connection to Xbox Live" somewhere near them in the manual.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (2, Insightful)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174562)

But if you're running custom code anyway, you'll have replacements for both of those. Right?

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174450)

They didn't take any functionality from your XBox at all.

Wrong. They also locked down the hardware. You can't play any games you installed to the hard drive. I'm not talking about XBLA games. I'm talking about games you installed from disc to the HDD. You should do some reading before you spout garbage.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174520)

But you paid a subscription, and they did not provide a refund.

This is comparable to subscribing to a comic book, then them removing you from the subscription list because you cut the comic books up, and not providing a refund.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174538)

Not completely correct. You will still need thier services for updates that will keep your machine running free of 'bugs' as updates come out. If they only knocked you off gold I can see that but they are keeping you away from updating services they should provide. Especially when you are spending money on their licenced DRM materials that gets paid to them and the software gets updated through thier network. I would understand if they don't want to update a software you didnt pay licensing for but if it is legit?!?

Secondly since there is no other NETWORK you can join, (yet hopefully), they have a MONOPOLY on an option for network access.

Whats worse is that they can be dicks because they are microsoft.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174550)

>>>They booted you off THEIR NETWORK.

And failed to refund upto 2 years of Xbox Live subscription, or refund dollars for games that no longer work without the online connection. That's (approximately) equivalent to a Magazine Company deciding not deliver your 24 issues because they don't like that you cut it up and hand-it-off to coworkers...... or a store selling you jeans that will disintegrate just a few months later.

It's theft.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174598)

>>>You AGREED TO THAT and now it has happened.

P.S.

In the Paypal case the paypal lawyers made that same argument ("users signed the end user agreement and license"), which the Federal judge negated by saying citizens can Not sign-away legally-protected rights. In effect he nullified paypal's EULA. I fully-expect the same to happen with Microsoft's Xbox Live EULA.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174498)

a law firm is able, via class action or any other means, to make it illegal for a company to screw with my console

Are you new? Class-action suits don't make anything illegal. In nearly all cases, the result of a class-action is a settlement in which the defendant gives an assload of cash to the plaintiff's lawyers, those lawyers give out coupons for 50 cents off the defendant's products to all of the class members, and the defendant admits no fault. Since no fault was admitted, and the case never actually went to trial, there's no precedent set, and the defendant and everyone else can keep doing whatever it was they were doing before while the lawyers for the plaintiffs build a new pool so they can swim around in their new money.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (2, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174166)

I haven't really been following the story, so maybe I'm missing something, but on the surface, I think I may actually agree with Microsoft here. While I do think modding your 360 should be _legal_, I don't see why they should have to let you onto their network if you've done so. And if the Live service agreement states that you cannot use modded hardware (maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, I don't know), I don't see why they should have to refund your subscription fee, either.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174252)

And if the Live service agreement states that you cannot use modded hardware (maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, I don't know), I don't see why they should have to refund your subscription fee, either.

Exactly. While people should be able to mod their consoles, Microsoft's TOS clearly stated that modded consoles were not allowed on XBL. Dunno how one can see this lawsuit succeeding.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174336)

Especially with the whole "Did you mod but not pirate games?" aspect. Good luck finding those.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (3, Insightful)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174308)

Microsoft has disabled features of the console that are used during offline play. This is the problem. They are doing more than just banning you from using the service.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (4, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174350)

And isn't it that the particular xbox 360 is banned from Live, not your account?

So your subscription is still valid. Your 'hobbyist' xbox is banned but you could sign up a clean one and continue on with life.

I'm no fan of MS but I hope they crush this class action lawsuit. They provide a service. 'You' did something that broke the terms of the service agreement. They boot the offending hardware off of the service. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to pick out the guilty party here.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174648)

The article that was slashdotted last week said the *account* is banned. You cannot log-in again unless you create a fake identity. And even then they may be able to do what Ebay does - tie the new account to an older banned account via the IP address - and then ban both.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174636)

I agree that it is their right on the part of banning from Xbox Live specifically. However, the machines also had some other functionality removed. There may be others, but one function reportedly removed from banned xboxes was the ability to install games to the hard drive.

In my eyes, this would be akin to Nvidia remotely disabling the S-video port on your video card for overclocking it. Just banning you from Xbox live would have been more like banning you from a Team Fortress 2 server for using hacked maps.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174486)

I got over $50 from the Paypal lawsuit, and $20 from the CD/record company lawsuit. That seems reasonable to me, considering I didn't really lose that much money in the first place.

Also class action lawsuits are more about punishing the company. For example if Paypal and the CD Cartel has not been sued, then they would have continued business-as-usual, stealing money from customers' accounts and price-fixing CDs to be $18 or more.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (2, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173940)

But even if the law firm gets 90% of the cache, the money still comes from the defendant. So a class-action still have the effect of discouraging future sleaze. So in that way, a lawsuit such as this is better than nothing (as long as you think the defendant's behavior should be discouraged).

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174194)

But with a behemoth like Microsoft, a million dollar payout isn't going to amount to much.

I'm sure they go through more than that in office furnishings every year.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

Hungry_Myst (1614225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174438)

While a million dollars wouldn't amount for much. It opens the door up for president. It makes it much, much, easier for people to sue again over the same thing. And if Microsoft ends up getting successfully sued every time they pull something like this, they'll be less likely to do it again.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174490)

I'm sure they go through more than that in office furnishings every year.

Chairs are expensive, eh?

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174230)

But even if the law firm gets 90% of the cache, the money still comes from the defendant.

Attorneys fees in class actions have to be approved by the court, and they generally run around 25%-33%. And class actions are hideously expensive to run, a decent sized one will consume several thousand hours of the plaintiffs' lawyer's time, and at least a few hundred thousand dollars.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174288)

90% of the what?

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174512)

Yes.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174628)

You read it right, if you participate in this lawsuit, the lawyers get perpetual exclusive access 90% of your xbox HDD capacity to build their own rival to Amazon S3.

FUCK YOU MAN !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173962)

It serves to teach the lesson to not fuck with the little pissants that bought their stupid game box. If you want to fucking pirate those stupid ass games then fucking pirate those stupid ass games. Who the fuck is it that bans you for pirating anyway? Yes, we know that you are, but that's not the point. We will teach those motherfuckers not to fuck with you, and make a cool mill each in the process. Win-Win !!

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (5, Insightful)

debrain (29228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174274)

Sir - With respect,

Class actions typically serve three purposes, none of which is making lawyers rich (though that may sometimes happens, sometimes it bankrupts law firms, too). These purposes are:

1. Modify corporate / government behaviour

2. Increase the efficiency of the resolution of a dispute

3. Increase the access to justice of those who would not be able to afford any

It is not insightful to say that class-action lawsuits serve one purpose: to make a "lawfirm (sic) a boatload of cash". It is uninformed, misleading, pejorative, and unsubstantiated - which in my opinion is the opposite of insightful.

There are innumerable examples of class actions fulfilling their purposes, from recognizing the rights of veterans to appropriate levels of compensation, to deterring irresponsible behaviour likely to cause man-made environmental disasters, through compensating multitudes of individuals for small wrongs that would be otherwise incomprehensibly uneconomical to litigate.

Further, a class action is simply a vehicle for resolving the rights of many individuals who would otherwise be forced to engage in individual litigation. It does not change substantive rights to any sort of compensation, though it may change (and generally eliminate, for beneficiaries in a plaintiffs' class) the cost of resolving a legitimate dispute that would otherwise simply never be addressed.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (4, Informative)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174392)

Microsoft has done much more than prevent access to the service. These are other features that have been blocked:

* Cannot install games to the HDD
* Cannot use Windows Media Centre extender
* Cannot access netflix rentals
* Cannot download game updates and extra content that are used in offline play

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

sscroggins (1018484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174626)

I'm not sure about the first two, you would access netflix rentals through XBL, so... Denied. Downloading game updates would also use XBL so I guess that violating the TOS also covers them blocking downloadable content.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174638)

Well I don't know what to say about the first two items on your list but for the second two:

* Cannot access netflix rentals
* Cannot download game updates and extra content that are used in offline play

Getting your modded 360 banned from Live doesn't stop you from being able to access netflix. Only on that banned 360. You can still access it on a PC or another 360. And game updates and extra content aren't required to play a game. Sure they can fix bugs, add features or add content to your games but they are not required for your games to run or the 360 to function.

Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (1)

Murphdog (1025219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174462)

omfg, i'm not reading all the comments on this post, but gotta say that, the TOS tell you this would happen if you mondify the box. idiots.

There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (5, Informative)

wernox1987 (1362105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173844)

The DVD drive mods that people got banned for were all about playing 'backups' which really means pirated games in 99% of these cases.

Re:There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (3, Insightful)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174130)

Yeah but, there where those who flash the Dvd Drives,
Because they replaced the Drives that were crap.

My Friend has a 20GB pro That I would never loan a DVD to because that thing is a scratch machine.
Also there are collectors like me who like to play backups whenever possible.

Hell there are even multiple copies of sealed old games I still have.
I hope M$ pays the price for this massive b& and I was never even banned.
It is not the pirates I care about it is those who hack and cheat the games, rage quit, etc.

Re:There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174356)

Even more fuel to the fire is they could have avoided such issues,
had they installed cheap pads that cost a few pennies in some of the older systems DVD drive
Pads [llamma.com] .
There was an Article on the whole problem but I can't find it.

Re:There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (1)

Hungry_Myst (1614225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174592)

Exactly like Icegryphon said. Scratching disks is a known problem that the Xbox360 is famous for, and Microsoft has admitted to. Many people at one time or another have had there Xbox360 scratch up some disk. There is nothing morally wrong about playing backups of games you own, and in this case people have a legitimate fear that the console is going to eat there disk. No one should have to buy the same game twice.

Re:There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (3, Informative)

ClosedEyesSeeing (1278938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174214)

In my case, I flashed the DVD drive because the old one didn't work any more. This was the cheaper option then sending it in for repair out of warranty. No different then I would of done if I had a bad DVD drive in my PC. I shouldn't be punished for fixing something that was broken.

Re:There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174242)

There is no homebrew because Microsoft actively sabotaged routes to run homebrew software on the machine. Even when not connected to Xbox Live! I completely understand not wanting modded consoles to connect to live, but now these consoles cannot be used for homebrew because of the sabotage MS has performed.

Re:There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174290)

You're wrong. Please research the kernel exploits that were found previous to the latest one that allow installation of new bootloaders, etc using jtag programming and reading methods.

Also, are you aware that if your dvd drive dies and your console is out of warranty, that you can purchase a new DVD drive for about $25 on ebay and install it yourself by "spoofing" your old drive? Yet, this violates M$ policies as they want you to pay them $100 to fix it for you.

Piracy is hardly the only reason people hack their 360s. It is one reason, but certainly not the only reason.

Re:There isn't really any homebrew on the 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174404)

Indeed, a modded Xbox 360 cannot run any homebrew at all as it will only run signed .exe's.

Unlike on other systems, Xbox 360 modding is useful for piracy only. "legitimate hobbyists" my ass.

Broken drives (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174484)

Actually, aside from the unreasonably high amounts of RROD's, drive failure is also an issue with 360's. The problem is that the hardware - although they're fairly standard drives - is also locked to the motherboard. So a regular SATA DVD-drive will fit into your 360, but doing so without re-tying the hardware/serial will get your a permaban from XBL pretty much immediately.

There *are* ways to update the firmware on replacement drives, but I believe this requires fairly specific models of drives and a fair bit of hackery to do so (and/or also having access to the old drive to get certain details from it's firmware, so hopefully it's just a dead/scratched laser and not a fried board).

As if it's limited to that... (2, Informative)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173850)

Hell, I know people who had their consoles banned for no reason and MS told them to go take a leap.

Re:As if it's limited to that... (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174044)

That may be the case of someone buying a used/refurb console from a place like Gamespot. Gamespot plugs it in and tests it and it works fine. They then sell it. Caustomer take box home and hooks it up to the network. Seems to work fine for several months. Then one day they get banned. Turns out used Xbox had a mod in it, but was not caught in earlier sweeps. Customer is left with degraded functionality through no fault of their own.

Re:As if it's limited to that... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174112)

You should not be surprised. Look at all the WGA false positives.

XNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173852)

Why would people need to hack the Xbox when Microsoft provides the XNA development environment?

Worry? About what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173856)

No.

They should not worry.

Nothing will happen here. The terms of service clearly state that to play on Xbox Live, you are not allowed to modify your xbox360. The accounts are still present and valid. The consoles are simply banned from accessing the service. Hobbyists can still be hobbyists. The Xbox360 will still work, but the Xbox Live service will not.

Re:Worry? About what? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173938)

No, it states you are not allowed to modify ANY of the hardware.

Third party battery pack? Modified hardware - banned - give us more money now to keep playing.

Re:Worry? About what? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174020)

Yes, Microsoft should be worried.

"The Xbox360 will still work, but the Xbox Live service will not." --- False. Parts of offline play are disable.

If you READ the class action lawsuit, it has nothing to do with the banning from XBL, but rather the offline features that were disabled/modified as a result.

Very interesting article regarding the bannings: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2397134/analysis_why_microsofts_plan_to_ban.html

"I was at GameStop the other day and listened to a customer's questions about Microsoft's banning of modded X-Box 360s. The worker tried to explain that this banning was for those people that hacked their X-Box 360. The customer was worried that if her child downloaded any kind of content through the X-Box 360 that this might constitute a reason for a banning for her son's system. She was confused, so she decided to purchase a PS3 instead. I was told by the manager at that GameStop that this was not an isolated incident. They had received over 50 calls that day about the banning.

What Microsoft appears to have forgotten by earmarking this time of year for the banning of modded X-Box 360s is that most of the systems that are purchased this time of year is by parents and grandparents. The game systems that are purchased this time of year are usually done by those that do not have a firm grasp on the industry. Simply put, the systems are usually purchased by people that are fairly clueless about video games."

Re:Worry? About what? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174312)

They also forgot that ebay will soon be flooded with cheap Xbox system that are only good for playing pirated games. Doh!

Re:Worry? About what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174040)

I'm no legal eagle... Can you explain why a company can ban you from service because you modified your machine? It makes sense to ban if they were connecting to their live network using dubious means, or trying to use the network in illegal ways... But I don't understand why a fourth party can ban how you using a third party's product?

Live is not responsible for pirated content. MS isn't liable for what you do to your machine (and the warranties expressly state it). Does it seem ethically gray to ban people from using your network based solely on something that isn't about how you're using the network?

[scratches head]

Re:Worry? About what? (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174292)

Can you explain why a company can ban you from service because you modified your machine? It makes sense to ban if they were connecting to their live network using dubious means, or trying to use the network in illegal ways... But I don't understand why a fourth party can ban how you using a third party's product?

There is nothing preventing you from modifying hardware you own (the xbox itself), and that is both legal and MS can't really say squat about it (Specifically, they can say all the squat they want, but have less than no legal backing)

However, as xbox live is a subscription service, they can set forth rules to follow in order to be allowed to use it. Typically this is called Terms of Service, or ToS.

Being a service, they can dictate any rules they want and choose whom to do business with, at lease as long as that choice isn't based on one of the few things you can not legally discriminate against like age race etc.
Legally modifying hardware you own is not in that list, so they CAN discriminate all they want.

Yes, they might be in some trouble for not refunding prorated payments back, but the only legal result of that is to be forced to pay them back (Which personally I think they should be doing anyway)

My setup used two xbox (xboxes?) one modded for homebrew that never connected to any MS service, and one unmodified for playing games online.
(In the mean time, I stopped playing games online, and now that second xbox is sitting waiting to be modded too... Just haven't had the time to mess with it)

The 4th party you mentioned, I'm not sure where that came from so can't quite answer it.
There are only two parties involved here. The people whom got banned from xbox live, and Microsoft.

Does it seem ethically gray to ban people from using your network based solely on something that isn't about how you're using the network?

Ethically, maybe. Probably not.
If you ran a service, you would want the same right to choose whom you did business with or not.

Leagally, they are 100% in the right (With exception to not refunding unused prorated costs back, which I don't even know if they are really doing or not.)

Even slashdot has a TOS and they can ban your account for violating it. Nothing immoral there either.

Re:Worry? About what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174602)

4th party = XBL, 3rd party = Altus, or whoever you might have copied software from

Now, I know that a TOU can let you restrict who has access to your network. But there aren't reasonable restrictions on that?

You used slashdot as an example. What if slashdot said we're only allowing accounts that connect to slashdot with , and I logged in while using my own distro? Is that an acceptable TOU policy?

Unless these modified consoles modify how the network is accessed or affects gameplay (ie, you hack your software so medics can one-shot everybody) in an unintended manner, are they allowed to write a TOU that band something that doesn't directly affect usage on their network?

Re:Worry? About what? (2, Insightful)

sl3xd (111641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174388)

Look - it comes down to this: To get on Xbox live, you have to agree to the terms of service. The terms of service is a contract. The banned users agreed to it. If anybody violates the terms of the contract by modifying their Xbox in any way, Microsoft is more than justified in enforcing its contract, meaning they can cut off violators of its TOS.

It's simple contract law. The service requires an unmodded xbox. If a consumer doens't hold up their end of the contract, Microsoft has no obligation to hold up its end.

It's no different for other services - Telephone, internet, Cable or sattelite TV, etc. If you violate the contract you made for the service, then you have absolutely no right to force the provider to continue providing the service.

Re:Worry? About what? (1)

Croakus (663556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174334)

Agreed, and here's why. All they need to do is walk into court and say, "We can only guarantee that hardware we built will operate properly with XBox Live. Additionally, allowing user modified hardware to operate on our network may adversely affect other paying subscribers and therefore cannot be allowed." Case dismissed. This will go nowhere.

Re:Worry? About what? (1)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174452)

Except the case has nothing to do with access to xbox live. Microsoft has disabled features that are used while the box is OFFLINE. I didn't sign any agreement about what I will do with the box while I am not connected to XBL.

Make way for the ambulance chaser! (4, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173888)

Should Microsoft worry?

Not in the least. Microsoft did not tell you that you cannot use your modded Xbox, nor did they do anything to it that prevents you from using it. All they did was said you can't use it on servers that they own. And there are rulings all the way up to SCOTUS that says he who owns the servers controls who is allowed to use them.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173942)

Cite please.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (2, Informative)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174030)

I think the problem that is being raised is that MS agreed to allow the users to use the servers for a set amount of time and cost. MS terminated that agreement without reimbursing some of the users for the time they already paid for. While they do have the right to control who has access, the lawsuit is saying that MS does not have the right to end their paid agreement early without returning the money they accepted.

I didn't read the article and I'm not a lawyer, but I do pretend sometimes.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (4, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174180)

No, they haven't terminated any agreement. The accounts are still live and valid, and if the modders want to log in from an unmodded console they're still welcome. Remember: it's the CONSOLE that's banned, not the user.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174442)

If I wasn't AC-ing this, I'd give it +a bajillion. The hardware they had was blocked from XBL. Unlike previous bannings, MS did not ban the accounts/credit cards associated with the banned console. If the subscriber were to play on a friend's console, they could sign in and use all of the XBL Gold services.

MS doesn't owe these people a refund. Whether or not they were banned in error, however, is a different question - one that I hope to see answered in the coming weeks/months.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174226)

But the modders violated the XBL TOS agreement first by trying to connect with modded software.

Typically if you break a contract first, you can't cry when the other side breaks it too.
Especially if the agreement explicitly says they get to boot you without compensation, which it probably does.

Throw in the fact that they probably violated the DMCA by modding the xbox OS/BIOS.

Whether these particular plaintiffs/modders were engaged in piracy or not is irrelevant.

This case is a loser. All it will do is (1) waste a bunch of money on legal expenses, thereby raising the cost of providing XBL, and (2) annoy MS and possibly encourage them to make it even harder to run homebrew.

Sony offered Linux as an OS option on the PS3 until they got annoyed by people breaking their systems and bitching about it..

If we want corporations to offer things like that, we need to take a look in the mirror and stop being such a pain in the arse as a community.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174570)

This case is a loser. All it will do is (1) waste a bunch of money on legal expenses, thereby raising the cost of providing XBL, and (2) annoy MS and possibly encourage them to make it even harder to run homebrew.

As this is a class action case, I'm betting that xbox users arn't wasting any money. That is is simply a lawfirm that thought they could make some money or gain some publicity (with the purpose of then making some more money).

Other than that I agree with everything you said.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (1)

Imagix (695350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174294)

Breach of contract. The user had contracted to use XBL with an unmodded XBox. The user then uses a modded XBox. The remainder of the XBL fee is forfeit. MS (in this case) isn't terminating the contract on a whim, the user broke the contract.

Movie playback (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174556)

I use my 360 to play certain movies from my media repository. Doing so requires codecs that don't come standard on the 360 (DivX, whatever). There is no easy way (actually no way I know of), to update the codecs on the machine without using XBL.

OK, so one's thoughts would be that once you've updated the 360, you don't need XBL anyhow. But unfortunately, it seems that the codecs are tied to the XBL account. I can't play my vids without logging into that account whenever I need the codecs. I'd imagine that if it were banned that would be something of an issue.

Re:Make way for the ambulance chaser! (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174624)

Microsoft did not tell you that you cannot use your modded Xbox, nor did they do anything to it that prevents you from using it.

Apparently this banning also disables your hard drive [zotaku.com] . If it were just Xbox live it affected, MS would pretty clearly be in the right. Sabotaging someones hardware is not justifiable any way you slice it.

Nothing to worry about (1, Redundant)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173930)

Microsoft is not bricking your modded console. They are banning your modded console from their private network which they set the rules and the modded console owners broke. The reason for the modification is not relevant. Those 360s will stay play your games perfectly you just can't access Live. As an owner of an unmodded 360 who is a paying customer for live I appreciate and applaud this move since other people like to mod their boxes for making online experience worse for others (i.e cheating).

As for the prorated refund do they have any legal reason to do so? I've seen many places state if you get kicked out (bars, amusement parks, etc.) if you get kicked out you get no refunds.

And for those that really want to mod their 360s and really want to play on live buy another 360.

Re:Nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174038)

The recent ban disabled several non-XBL features on the banned xbox 360. This is completely unacceptable. MS crossed the line by doing this and with any luck they will be punished for doing so.

FTFA:
* Disabling/altering Xbox functionality *NOT* associated with Xbox Live or piracy (HDD functionality for example);
* Disabling/altering Xbox functionality *NOT* associated with piracy (Netflix, game add-ons, music, and arcade games for example);

Re:Nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174102)

I agree with this 100%. I bought my xbox360 and my live subsciption because I truly enjoy the experience in something MS has finally gotten right. To everyone that was banned I just have to say "Did any of you actually read the EULA that you agreed to?" all this is laid out in clear language when you first sign on to Xbox Live. You cannot mod your xbox in anyway or you don't get Xbox live its that simple. This has allowed xbox live to be a truly even playing field for anyone that wants to play because no one has to worry about people using hacks to cheat at games. I'm no MS troll because the only MS machines I run are virtual inside of Ubuntu/Kubuntu machines. If you wanted to mod you boxes you should have got two machines one to be your toy and the other to go on live.

Re:Nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174146)

As for the prorated refund do they have any legal reason to do so?

Actually the reason they didn't give any refunds for xbox live accounts is they aren't banning them just the particular xbox, if you choose not to buy another xbox and want to cancel your account that's up to you

Re:Nothing to worry about (2, Informative)

csartanis (863147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174492)

Yes, Microsoft basically "bricked" several offline features of the console. The lawsuit has nothing to do with access to the XBL service and everything to do with the additional removal of features totally unrelated to xbox live.

Ooh look! A big target! (2, Insightful)

Nakarti (572310) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173966)

Hobbyist support my ass.
As a lawyer he's thinking "Ooh! 100,000 people banned, that's a big target to profit from!"

As a hobbyist, if I want to run whatever software, I pay: $100 for a motherboard, $130 for a small case and power supply, $50 for a hard drive, $30 for an optical drive, $0-200 for an operating system, $50 for a wireless keyboard and mouse, $80 for a wireless gaming controller, $15 for a DVI cable.

Anybody guess what I bought to run homebrew software? A fecking computer!
An xBox is not a computer, and if you want to change that, Microsoft is well within their rights to say they don't want xbox-like computers on Live!

Re:Ooh look! A big target! (2, Insightful)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174320)

Hobbyist support my ass. As a lawyer he's thinking "Ooh! 100,000 people banned, that's a big target to profit from!"

As a hobbyist, if I want to run whatever software, I pay: $100 for a motherboard, $130 for a small case and power supply, $50 for a hard drive, $30 for an optical drive, $0-200 for an operating system, $50 for a wireless keyboard and mouse, $80 for a wireless gaming controller, $15 for a DVI cable.

Anybody guess what I bought to run homebrew software? A fecking computer! An xBox is not a computer, and if you want to change that, Microsoft is well within their rights to say they don't want xbox-like computers on Live!

An Xbox has a CPU, a GPU, RAM, a motherboard, USB, wireless, game controller, dvd-rom, a custom OS, and a pretty spiffy custom case and external PSU. How, exactly, is the 360 (or the Xbox1) not just a PC with custom DRM tailor made for gaming?

I'm a "hobbyist" Porsche driver (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174002)

who wants to join me in a class action law suite over those locks they keep putting on the doors and ignitions?

OK, not the best analogy. But I'm only on my first cup of caffeine. Bottom line is that any time I mod a console (going back to the Famicom aka Nintindo) I no longer expect the developer of said hardware to support me and in fact I expect them to actively oppose me.

Over the years Sony has been a better supporter of hobbyists, even going so far as to release a home brew PS1 (NET YAROZE).

Ah well.

Terms of use seem pretty clear (3, Informative)

sfbiker (1118091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174018)

The terms of use seem pretty clear:

The Service may only be accessed with an original Xbox, an Xbox 360 console, a personal computer, or other device authorized by us, or by logging into your account via Xbox.com . You agree that you are using only authorized software and hardware to access the Service, that your software and hardware have not been modified in any unauthorized way (e.g., through unauthorized repairs, unauthorized upgrades, or unauthorized downloads

Refund Policies. Unless otherwise provided by law or in connection with any particular Service offer, all charges are non-refundable and the costs of any returns will be at your expense. There are, however, certain circumstances under which you may be entitled to a refund for certain Services.

So what part of that seems unclear enough that it warrants a lawsuit? If you don't agree with terms of use, don't sign up for the service then whine when they catch you violating the terms of service and terminate your account.

Re:Terms of use seem pretty clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174178)

As far as your normal TOS legal babble goes that's practically drawing you a picture.

As much as anyone might not like Microsoft, you have to admit they really did the moral thing while drafting it.

One might want to think twice... (2, Insightful)

doug141 (863552) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174022)

before signing a form admitting one's xbox was modded in the first place.

Yeah, they STOP you from using your xbox! Oh, wait (0)

Shados (741919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174060)

If they bricked the console? Sure, sue them for that if they do it.
Banning you from a service? Lol, right. Im going to go to a 5 star restaurant in jeans and t-shirt then sue them once they kick me out. Same deal here.

Re:Yeah, they STOP you from using your xbox! Oh, w (1)

jcoy42 (412359) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174282)

"5 star restaurant " is not a good analogy.

It's more like if you payed for a room at the Waldorf Astoria [*], they took your money, and then they told you that you couldn't stay there because they didn't like the way you looked (your haircut, or whatever) and didn't give you a refund for the nights you had already paid for.

What you are describing doesn't leave you out money you paid for a service. What is going on here is people paid for access to a service, and are being refused access to it without being given a refund.

[*] I only single the Waldorf because I once was put up there by Money Magainze while working on some software for them and the hotel told me I was not allowed to enter the lobby since I was wearing Birkenstocks. My good shoes were in my room upstairs. Quite the pain in the ass..

Re:Yeah, they STOP you from using your xbox! Oh, w (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174458)

What is going on here is people paid for access to a service, and are being refused access to it without being given a refund
No, it is not like that. No PERSON is being refused service - the XBL account is still there. They just have to use a different console to access it.

To take your hotel analogy to the limit, it's like you booked the room and prepaid, but also signed a contract promising that you'd only arrive in a green car, because only green cars are allowed at that hotel. Then you turn up in a red car, and they point to the contract and ask you to go away until you have the right color car. Plain and simple breach of contract, you don't have a leg to stand on.

Re:Yeah, they STOP you from using your xbox! Oh, w (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174502)

It's more like if you payed for a room at the Waldorf Astoria [*], they took your money, and then they told you that you couldn't stay there because they didn't like the way you looked (your haircut, or whatever) and didn't give you a refund for the nights you had already paid for.

No its more like you payed for a room at the Waldorf Astoria, then they threw the girl you brought with you out on the street cause it looked, convincingly like she's a whore.

About 2 people were having sex with their slutty looking wives, the other 600k people were having sex with prostitutes.

What you are describing doesn't leave you out money you paid for a service. What is going on here is people paid for access to a service, and are being refused access to it without being given a refund.

No, you certainly can continue to use XBox Live with the account just not the modded xbox. To continue your analogy, you're welcome to use your room to fuck someones brains out, you just have to bring someone else, the prostitute isn't allowed back in.

All things considered, since you broke the rules, they are being entirely fair. If it were myself I'd ban your account completely regardless of xbox, probably any known credit card or bank accounts used with the account as well since you are clearly breaking the rules you agreed to, entirely acceptable rules by any sane definition.

Grow up (1)

MasseKid (1294554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174062)

Seriously. If you want to home brew fine, there is NOTHING stopping you from buying a second console to homebrew on as long as you keep it off THEIR network. Microsoft wants to have a service that is run on "secure" Xboxs to prevent hackers, cheaters, and pirates. This is something that is in YOUR interest, unless you think C.S. 1.6 was fun when some guy (not you) is running with the knife speed hack. This is also something you agreed to.

However, you KNOWINGLY (or should have known) violated a written contract with Microsoft. What's next, are you going to complain when the bank reposess your house because you don't pay? You have a contract, you violated the contract, Microsoft is taking steps that YOU AGREED IT COULD TAKE when you signed the contract. Even this law firm knows there isn't a case here, however they are now using YOU to get loads of free advertising. Wake up, grow up, or shut up. Pick one.

Not just banned from XBox Live... (5, Informative)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174098)

I've been reading the argument that people have just been banned from XBL, because modifying your console somehow violates the TOS of XBL.

However, this time the ban does not just kick you off online multiplayer, it also disables functionality to install games on the included HDD! Games already installed on that HDD will not be accessible anymore. Also, any savegame you continue playing with on the banned console will get tagged with the result that you can't copy it to any other (banned or unbanned) consoles anymore.

Since a lot of people bought the Xbox360 with the ability to install games on the internal HDD right out of the box it can be argued that MS impaired the users' hardware in some way.
Also: it is rumored that it is possible for MS to band your console through future (mandatory) updates on game discs, even if you never played online. The technical capabilites are there, but if they ever start doing that their XBL-TOS-argument will be seriously flawed.

Re:Not just banned from XBox Live... (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174256)

Somewhere in the EULA I will put good money on that it says something along the lines of using the install to HD feature, netflix, etc. All requires an active (i.e good standing) xbox live subscription and account, and depending on the service different levels (silver vs. gold).

Now if MS sent out game discs that disabled 360s who were not on live and were not following XBL-TOS then I would think there would be a strong case to sue them. I myself would disagree with that 100%.

Re:Not just banned from XBox Live... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174284)

However, this time the ban does not just kick you off online multiplayer, it also disables functionality to install games on the included HDD! Games already installed on that HDD will not be accessible anymore
So what? The HD install feature only exists to speed up load times, you still need the original disc in the drive to play. That is, if you haven't modded the box. See where they're going with this? If you modded your box you're still perfectly able to play any legitimate game discs you happen to have.

Also: it is rumored that it is possible for MS to band your console through future (mandatory) updates on game discs, even if you never played online. The technical capabilites are there, but if they ever start doing that their XBL-TOS-argument will be seriously flawed.

That makes no sense. If you don't connect to live they've got nothing to ban you from.

Microsoft...Worry? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174114)

Should Microsoft worry?"

No...they will just hire Johnny Cochran and use the Chewbacca defense....nothing to see here folks.

They'll never win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174128)

By signing up for Live, they agreed to Microsoft's terms and conditions...period...end of story.

Turning the tables... (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174254)

Surely Microsoft could then pursue every named person in this class action for the value of the library of pirated software they have? Those who have been blacklisted would do well to STFU and not stick their heads above the parapet.

Honesty (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174324)

I love the way they ask "Did you modify yours for homebrew or altering things you paid for and not to engage in piracy?"

Thats a laugh. Now that they have been booted off live I bet everyone is claiming they did not do it for piracy. When they were paying the money for someone to modify a new $200 piece of hardware and void its warranty were they so sure they were never going to play a cheap knock off game then.

I know if I was going to risk someone trashing a new console under those circumstances I would justify it to myself by saying that it might save me money as I could buy cheaper games for it.

Illegal Copies and Derivative Works. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30174420)

by modding your xbox while still running MS software you violate their TOS on XBL you violate their EULA on their software and you violate their copyright by making a derviative work, to do make a derivative work you actually copied their software. So in all modding cases that modify MS software on the XBox you are not only violating a EULA you are violating their IP and their copyright, even before you backup or copy a game.

You simply don't have a right to use a modified xbox and their software.

If you wan't this freedom you should've invested in a device which would give you this freedom.

  Buy products with this feature: freedom.

Wheres the 'YouveGottaBeKidding' tag? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174522)

Seriously?

Impossible! (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174540)

The only reason for modifying your Xbox is to engage in acts of piracy, obviously.

MS has nothing to worry about (1)

svanheulen (901014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174542)

I'm sure it clearly states in the Xbox Live user agreement that moding is cause for a ban. If you agreed to the user agreement then you're just shit out of luck, end of story. I think people should be more concerned as to why you are forced to have an Xbox Live account (or PSN account for the the PS3) to play games online.

Cheaters (1)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30174652)

How should Microsoft handle cheaters?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>